Cathay Pacific’s Unusual On Board Amenity: Free Diapers

Whether we’re flying to New York or Phoenix — or Paris or Sydney — my wife and I have plenty of diapers when traveling with our now-six month old daughter. We have plenty of wipes, replacement outfits, and all the supplies you can imagine. I never used to check a bag on a five night trip, now I’m checking bags for two nights.

I admit it makes me appreciate my business travel more when I can navigate through the airport with just a carry on or even just a laptop bag. Fortunately though my wife has the baby packing down to a science. And just going through diapers we’re less encumbered for the trip home than the way out.

griffingrowl writes about his experience flying Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair) with a six month old baby. He faced an emergency but learned that they both have diapers on board!

We flew HKT-HKG-JFK in J last week with our six month old baby girl. Were down to our last couple of diapers (nappies) when we left our hotel in Phuket and the Boots pharmacy at HKT had sold out.

Had a tight connection in HKG and so fingers crossed we’d make it 14 hours with two diapers.

Both Cathay Dragon (Phuket – Hong Kong) and Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong – New York JFK) had free diaper kits on board, and apparently they had plenty.

The Cathay Dragon diaper kit was as follows:

– small blue pastic bag
– contents: one diaper, two baby wipes
– diaper type: no discernible brand, US/EU style with wings and flaps that fold around
– diaper size: no indicated size but I’d guess 3 or 4

Cathay Dragon Diaper Kit, credit: griffingrowl

The Cathay Pacific kit:

[M]ade by Mustela (French company)
– small clear plastic bag with reusable blue zip nag inside
– contents: two diapers, NO diaper wipes, Mustela face cream, Mustela diaper rash cream, 2 x disposal bags for dirty diaper
– diaper type: Huggies Asian style (pull up – but designed or infants) – you rip the sides when it is dirty
diaper size: M ( assume stood for “Medium”

Cathay Pacific Diaper Kit, credit: griffingrowl

Cathay Pacific Diaper Kit, credit: griffingrowl

The Cathay Pacific kit apparently was nicer, more premium, and came with a bag for disposal but lacked wipes. If you “open the blue bag carefully” on Cathay Dragon then “it can serve double duty and also be the disposal bag for the dirty diaper.”

I’ve read that EVA Air stocks diapers. I wasn’t familiar with the practice and am curious about other airlines that may do this as well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good on them, though I imagine most airlines would have them, less of a customer service and more of a “We don’t want to deal with a diaper less baby” thing much like the barf bags…

  2. Way back in 2004, when our daughter was an infant, Malaysian Airlines provided diapers too, on their long haul flights from LAX to KUL via TPE. They also provided a variety of baby food jars and one could even call the airline in advance if the child was “allergic” (in other words, disliked!) to specific baby food (mashed peas, in our case). They were extremely accommodating. If I remember correctly, we had the same experience with Singapore Airlines with diapers and baby food jars.
    US Airways in those days was another story. On a flight from Phoenix to Calgary, they could not provide a small carton of milk for our then toddler! BTW, since 2004, our kids have now traveled to 25 countries on 37 Domestic and International airlines!

  3. Korean Air also offered us some during our recent flights. Even some formula as well. We had enough and did not have to use theirs, but it is good to see airlines offering in case.

  4. Not that unusual at least on asian airlines. I’ve received diapers in Korean business class and Sir Lankan economy.

  5. A number of airlines used to have diapers available for babies, but you can’t count on any airline having them all the time.

    Diapers can be bought in most developed countries without much issue when they are needed.

  6. Qatar has diapers, which FAs proactively offer (though, like you, we were stocked up plenty, so we declined).

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